The Social CRM

Social CRM is gaining momentum to be the next big buzz word. Some great posts on the subject have been making the rounds, but none more than “Why CRM ain’t CRM if it isn’t Social” by Dr. Harish Kotadia. His points are clear and intiutively understood by most CRM practitioners. In my view, social media makes it possible for buyers and customers to signal intent on an unprecedented scale. Buyers signal. Customers signal. Signals can be positive or negative to the organization. Most companies, even great CRM companies, do not understand this shift.

    Before mapping out a social CRM strategy, answer these questions:

  • Where are your customers? Where are your prospects?
  • Where do they go when they have issues with your products and services?
  • How open is that conversation?
  • How are you making them successful?
  • What keeps them from flaming the CEO?
  • How many are willing references?
  • Where is your organization’s focus?

CRM is about being customer-centric. Sales, Marketing and Service are the usual suspects of customer-facing departments. Each has created internal barriers to what part of the customer that they own. These barriers erode in a socially connected world. Marketing tweets how great the product is and gets a nasty reply from an existing customer. Now it is out in the world naked and transparent. Marketing likely does not even know who to contact in their own company to get the problem fixed. This is real and happening today. I have seen it. I will continue to see it for a long time.

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